ICU Stand-up Comedy Group wins jury award at NOROSHI2017
Update: April 12, 2017
Team "Noo" from the university's comic studies club known as "Waraken" has won the jury award in the group competition of "NOROSHI2017."
The contest is hosted jointly by Yoshimoto Creative Agency and university comic entertainment organization Daigakugeikai. The participants compete in three categories―manzai (two-man standup comedy), konto (short comic story) and pin (single comic performance), and the best university comic group is chosen in the contest. A total of 132 teams took part in the competition this academic year, and nine of them laughed their way to the finals.
The members of "Noo" participated in the three categories with "Hebiichigo in manzai, "Patepopins" (konto) and "Ponyohara" (pin), sailing through the elimination competitions and semi-finals that began in February. On March 6, they went into the finals held at Lumine the Yoshimoto Theater in Tokyo, winning the jury award for their strong overall performance as a team.
Shinsaku Sato (4th-year student)
The ICU Waraken has been able to capture the jury award in NOROSHI2017. Our club tries to tell comic stories that respect the individuality of each person, and there is always diversity in them. At this contest, the unique character of the university and our club led to our win. Sharing a sense of values and backgrounds is an important process in creating something, whatever it is, and I think we earned the award due totally to the fact that we are studying at ICU. I hope you will all continue to support Waraken.
Rena Yamazaki (2nd-year student)
Thank you very much, indeed, to all of you who stood behind us. I joined Wakaken for one simple reason. I love comic stories and performances. When I signed up for the club last year, I didn't even dream that I would be doing a manzai at Lumine the Yoshimoto Theater one year later. I was able to pull through, and that's entirely thanks to the support of wonderful senior club members and, of course, all of you.
We decided to form our team with these members because "we wanted a team that will go all out in the contest to the very end." I am happy to receive this award because I think ICU is a real fun place to be. I didn't have enough experience and I was worried I would be dragging other members down. But the senior people gave me all their support, which is why, I think, we were able to make it to the end. We have great upper-class students in Wakaren, everybody, and it's a club I just adore. If you are interested in Wakaren, even just a little bit, come have some fun with us. We'll be waiting for you!
Reina Kagohara (4th-year student)
I am very happy that we were able to achieve the first feat of this kind in the history of ICU, though I had to wait for four years since I joined the club for this award. This is the best university and the best club where you find many hilarious people in Waraken and outside. And we are all trying to be funnier than other people. This is a good chance to get interested in our club. I hope you will all come and watch what we do. I want to see many of you join and keep on renewing our history. Come, all you seriously funny people!
Saya Mizushima (3rd-year student)
[On receiving the jury award]
First, I would like to say, 'Thank you" for the jury award. I am grateful and happy. Ever since I was a first-year student, I have taken pride in the strength of ICU in group competitions. More than anything else, I am glad that we were able to make it to the final as a team.
I entered an outside comic competition for the first time in the winter of the year when I was a first-year student. Back in those days, I knew almost nothing about comic performances. My partner, Momma, showed me the way, and I was trying desperately to keep up with her, joining group competitions as a member of a team called "Ko" (Child)." At the time, we clawed our way to the semi-final. My heart still goes flip flop when I think about the time we won through to the semi-final and stood on the stage of Asakusa Kagetsu Theater. It was a huge deal. I found for the first time how exciting it is to make people laugh at a major theater.
The name of our team this time around was "Noo." Why "Noo?" What a strange name! That's what I thought. But other members didn't say a word about it and, slowly and quietly, "Noo" continued to pile up wins. We came out of the first round at the top, passed through the semi-final by winning the jury's nomination, and grabbed the jury's prize in the final. I am happy I have come this far, led by both my juniors and seniors like two years ago. Luck was on our side, too. Thank you very much, everyone, for your support!
[My feelings toward Waraken]
I joined Waraken with absolutely no idea what manzai is all about. At the matriculation ceremony, Momma was sitting two seats away from me in the church. We were sandwiching a boy named Mizutani. And I was thinking, "Wow, that's a pretty girl with a nice-looking nose." And I kept staring at her. That was the very first step that led me to start doing student comedy. I have been at it for three years now, but I still don't think I am good enough to become a senior club member. I'm short on brains and skills. That said, though, I'm going to become a 4th-year student this year, anyway. But I'd like to learn from both junior people and people in the same class and keep on trying again this year. Waraken is a place that will let you do whatever you think is interesting or funny. There's a high degree of freedom and individualism. I can feel free and easy. That's why I like it there. I plan to spend the remaining year just having a ball.
Kana Momma (3rd-year student)
Thank you to all the people who rooted for us! I think comedy is something you create together with your audience, letting your personality and a sense of curiosity explode. I would be so happy if even one more person takes this opportunity to get interested in comedy performances. And if you do, be sure to drop by, and we'll have fun together!